An Inside Look at Long Story Short

An Inside Look at Long Story Short

Before the premiere of the new local series Long Story Short, a docuseries that tells the stories of our Cincinnati and Dayton neighbors, check out what the producers’ have to say about the project and its’ importance! Long Story Short premieres Friday, April 2, at 11pm on CET, Friday, April 9 at 9pm on ThinkTV14 and on May 6 at 11:30pm on ThinkTV16.

Producers Shawn Braley (right) & Chris Ashwell (left)

Written By Producers Shawn Braley & Chris Ashwell

Six years ago, the two of us met up for coffee at Cafe DeSales in East Walnut Hills and discussed our plans for how we were going to use our skills and interests in storytelling and filmmaking for the public good. We had both seen the power of stories in our own lives and we knew how they could build empathy and connection. We also both loved radio and television programs like The Moth, This American Life, PBS’ Independent Lens and POV. We admired the producers of these shows as they took real-life stories and turned them into emotionally-moving and beautifully-crafted works of art. We wanted to do that, in part, because it was so impactful on us, but also because we believed it could have an impact on our city. This led to the creation of our organization – Cincy Stories. Cincy Stories has held dozens of storytelling events and has made hundreds of short documentaries, all featuring residents from our region. 

Up until now, we’ve been creating films and delivering them through our own online channels and have seen powerful responses to these stories. We’ve seen an entire neighborhood rally around a handicapped former professional baseball player and help him become the face of the community little league. We’ve seen our entire city rally around a homeless, black ballet dancer and help him find gear and transportation. We saw one of our stories get shared by a city council member when it seemed like an inner-city dance team was about to lose their studio due to rising rent. This story was picked up by the news and actually led the landlords to forgive back payments and provide a much lower rent.

That brings us to this show: Long Story Short. We had always dreamt of producing content for PBS. The breadth of types of people featured on Long Story Short is wide because we aren’t a homogenous region. We have people of all shapes, colors and sizes. We want to tell stories about every experience we can. Why? Because Cincinnati and Dayton are segregated cities. We don’t live, shop, eat or hang out in the same places as those who look different than us. So how will we know their lived experiences? How can we empathize with them? How can we build better cities if we only know the people who are similar to us?

On top of all of that, we believe there are stories hidden everywhere. You can find heartbreaking stories in bowling alleys and comedy clubs and inspiring stories in a funeral home. The opportunities are endless. It is our sincere hope that you’ll use this show as a jumping-off point to get to know your neighbors because all these folks are your neighbors. These aren’t people on the other side of the world or even the other side of the state. They are the residents of southwest Ohio, just like me and you.

Watch the trailer for the series below.